Keystone Bike Park opens for 2017 season with 12 of 55 trails on June 9 | SummitDaily.com

Keystone Bike Park opens for 2017 season with 12 of 55 trails on June 9

Let the park rats have their nearly endless winter at Woodward Copper. Across the county at Keystone, it's all about bikes, boulders, berms and gravity.

On Friday, June 9, the Keystone Bike Park opens for the 2017 season with 12 of 55 trails and lift access on the River Run Gondola to the mid-load station only. Park officials expect all 55 miles and 2,300 vertical feet to be ready by late June, but until then, mountain bikers of all ages get a haul pass for $25. That's less than half the price of a mid-season ticket. Season passes are also available now for $409 (unlimited bike haul at Keystone, Breckenridge, Vail and California properties like Northstar) and $319 (Keystone only with limited days at the rest).

The bike park's soft-ish opening means none of the upper trails are open, and so now is the perfect time to taste test the goods before committing to a season pass. Just remember to bring a helmet, long sleeves and either a full-suspension enduro or downhill bike. Once you leave the greens, park features like boulders, bridges, drops and dirt jumps demand something more than your standard cross-country bike, and believe us — the park is way more fun on a machine made for the terrain.

"Just as in winter, opening day for summer bike park signifies the start of something special and fills the resort with energy and excitement," said Greg Willis, director for Keystone Ski and Ride School who oversees all summer biking operations. "It's fulfilling to see our passionate bike guests rolling through the resort so excited to get back up on the mountain for the summer season."

New crew, new dirt

Introduced for the 2015 season, the Keystone Bike Park trail crew is responsible for trail maintenance and upgrades all season long, according to a release from the resort. This crew keeps progression in the forefront — several new trails and features for riders of all abilities were added in 2016 — while also shoveling dirt, repairing berms and generally making the park the best it can be, every day.

In 2016, the trail crew added a new flow trail to the expert trail TNT. Dubbed Holy Roller, this expert trail features machine-built jumps, berms and a large, wooden step-up platform.

Other improvements last season include: a natural log feature on the expert trail Cowboy Up; a wall-ride feature on the expert trail Paid In Full; a rhythm section on the intermediate trail Mosquito Coast; and a flow trail with rollers and berms on the beginner trail Girl Scouts.

Welcome to Dirt Camp

Introduced last summer, the Keystone Bike Academy caters to riders of all levels with beginner and intermediate clinics, private lessons, downhill tours, women's programming, and a new camp designed for kids. All instructors are certified by the International Mountain Biking Association and teach on a mix of terrain, the resort release continued, from flowy greens to brutal double blacks.

New for 2017 is Dirt Camp, a five-day mountain bike camp designed for kids from 9 to 13 years old. Led by Keystone Bike Academy coaches, this camp focuses on fine-tuning the downhill mountain biking skills kids need to tackle any and all terrain found at the park.

Dirt Camp is offered June 26-30 and July 17-21 and costs $299 per camper. These day camps run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the week and include instruction, bike haul, bike storage and trail access on a private shuttle. To sign up, see KeystoneBikePark.com.

Women's Wednesdays

One of the bike park's most popular programs, Women's Wednesdays, expands this season to include three week-long sessions. That means more time for progression with local coaches on the terrain you want to ride. These sessions, held on the second, third and fourth Wednesdays in June, July and August, include a bike haul pass, bike rental and protective gear, as well as the opportunity to meet like-minded female riders. A complete package with all gear is $199 and the lesson only is $84.

Keystone BME

Summit's biggest gravity race of the season, the Keystone Big Mountain Enduro, returns on June 24. This third stop of the summer-long BME series offers riders some of the most raw and rugged lift-accessed mountain biking in the country, with rock gardens, drops and high-speed features for every stage. The one-day event features at least three stages (more like six) on just about every bike park trail, with foot access available for spectators. Learn more at BigMountainEnduro.com.

Vitals | Keystone Bike Park

Trails: 55, split between green, blue, black and double black

Miles: 55, plus 100 miles of XC singletrack (no pass required)

Vertical drop: 2,300 feet (base at 9,280 feet, summit at 11,640 feet)

Season: Open daily from June 9 to Sept. 5, weekends only from Sept. 6-17

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Sunday through Thursday), 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Fridays and Saturdays)

Skills park: A free (yes, free) progressive area at the base of River Run Village that includes beginner, intermediate and advanced lines with dirt berms, rollers and jumps

Drop Zone: An expert-only terrain park consisting of a series of ridgeline drops transformed into free falls, located off the expert trail Paid In Full

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2017 opening weekend trails

Due to a mild May, the Keystone Bike Park opens June 9 with 12 of 55 total trails, all accessed by the River Run Gondola. Trails are only open from the mid-load station to the base (for now), but that means it’ll be affordable: anyone and everyone can ride for $25 until all trails open by mid or late June. See KeystoneBikePark.com for daily trails updates.

Base-area skills park: Open, free to the public

Green: Beans for Breakfast, Bluegrass, Celtic Way, Easy Street, Sleepy Hollow

Blue: Boy Scouts, River Run Trail

Black: Wild Thing

Black to double black: Even Flow, Helter, Sanitarium, Skelter